Iran Roundtable

Be part of conversation

Happiness is Mirage in Islamic Republic

IranRoundtable, Staff Writer
June 6, 2014
 
Recent Gallup poll placed Iran after Iraq as world most unhappiest countries.  
 
The results were published just weeks after officials arrested six young Iranians in their home country for appearing in an original Internet tribute to American singer Pharrell Williams’s hit song “Happy.”1 They have since been released, but were reprimanded previously on state television during an evening news broadcast. 
 
Almost half of Iranians – 48% – said they would not recommend their country to a friend searching for a place to live.2
 
It is extremely troubling to witness what our country men and women go through in Iran, and unfortunately the Gallup poll is just the tip of the iceberg, said Sharif Behruz Iran Roundtable President in a statment.  “Despite the facts on the ground, the government of Hassan Rouhani is striving hard to sell to the Iranians, and the world outside, that since replacing Ahmadinejad ordinary Iranians are more content.  The fact of the matter is that state repression is still widespread; executions have increased at an alarming rate since Rouhani took over the presidency.  There are no reasons for the people of Iran to be happy. “ he added.
 
“Despite the temporary sanctions relief, Iran’s economy is still in its worst shape since the Revolution.  Inflation is skyrocketing and many essential items are scarce or super expensive to obtain; furthermore, more than half of Iran’s population is politically and economically underprivileged and deprived; they are unable to be educated in their mother tongue or have local administrators.  Of course, all these add up to make society frustrated and unhappy.” he further stated.
 
following increasingly stringent sanctions imposed by the international community as a result of the country's nuclear program, oil and gas exports have fallen by half depriving the regime of billions of dollars anually.  In September 2012, the Iranian rial fell to a record low of 23,900 to the US dollar and currently is well above 20,000 rilas.
 
Despite government promises, double-digit unemployment and inflation remain problematic.  Iran's educated population, constrained economy, insufficient foreign and domestic investment and lack of political freedom has prompted an increasing number of Iranians to leave the country, resulting in a significant "brain drain".
 
For the first time after the Iran-Iraq war, in February of 2014 government–run distribution centers handed out free food parcels to low income Iranian families.  Several people died or injured in scrums while trying to get their packages.3
 
Also, in the June of 2009, a spontaneous mass demonstration erupted in Iran against the officially declared victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad which lasted for months and brought millions of people to the streets of major cities; an unprecedented show of displeasure with the regime since the Revolution of 1979.
 
Ever increasing more youth are taking refuge in illicit drugs as a remedy to soothe their souls and forget the injustices as happiness is a mirage4